Friday, 1 September 2017


A dance between minds
A meeting of the senses
In the foreign dark streets of the previously inhabited
That have since been deserted for want of
Better lives
A dash of black illuminating the recesses of the cold, damp city
Or perhaps by the side of a stream
Somewhere deep in the forest
Far away from either of our homes
Or a quiet library where no one dares to disturb
And piles of books lie undisturbed for weeks
Perhaps it is there that we find salvation
For the world will soon tire of us,
We are but one of its many puzzles
And so we must flee
To someplace no one will find us
Hidden forever
Until the dawn comes and we wake in our own beds.

~ Vruta Gupte, 2017.

Friday, 18 August 2017


Days pass by
My pen has dried up
My papers are crumpled
My mind is caged
Words no longer flow freely
My thoughts battle with themselves
In the dark abyss of self doubt
The perfume no longer smells of fresh roses
And new beginnings
My step is no longer sprightly
My glasses are cracked and bent and broken
In dreams I find no salvation
In sleep no rejuvenation
In wakefulness no direction
A candle burning from both ends
Can light up only for a few moments
Until it dies, its glory short lived and transitory
The candle burns my papers
My house, my world, and my mind
A shadow of the person I could have been
In the end, a great light will be cast upon me
My worth shall be judged
I hope then that the ashes of my papers
The ink of my pen
Will have endured the incessant callings
Of mortality and temporariness
So that I shall be redeemed
So that I can spend the rest of my days
As a slave to ink and the stories it holds.

~ Vruta Gupte.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

~ rain.

The rain
Has forced me to contemplate 
Upon myself, my deeds, and my shortcomings.
My inherent hesitation
Whose roots I do not remember
Premature apprehensive misgivings
Flow like rivulets outside
My mind -
A prison with layers and layers 
Of locks and latches
On doors made out of dishcloth
The rain
Does not touch me;
I am insulated
Inside my oddly shaped bubble of metal contraptions, trapping myself,
Sealing myself from
The inevitable truth
That one day I will have to breathe 
Water into my lungs;
That day I will be free, 
But is freedom worth the price of drowning?
I wonder -

Sunday, 25 June 2017

at a loss for words, part one.

Why don't you write when you're happy?

I can't, really.

Have you tried?

'Course I have, but pretty soon it gets frustrating, then I'm not happy anymore.


When I am happy I find I have nothing to write about, or speak of.  The moment I feel as if everything is alright, I cease being a storyteller.

My sadness is my elixir, in that sense.  It is necessary for me to be sad so that I can write about it and twist and stitch it into poetry or slightly luxurious narratives.  The last time my heart was broken, I wrote a hundred poems: that was three years ago.  Maybe even more.  Enough to publish a book, one day.  They lie inside my wooden chest of drawers with golden - not gold - handles.  The handles themselves have an exceedingly exquisite appearance; they look a bit like peacocks, though not exactly.  It is quite puzzling.  Why would you make something look a little like a peacock when you can make it look exactly like a peacock?  Peacocks are quite pretty. Then again, perhaps the maker of that chest of drawers didn't think that.  Or maybe he wanted to save money.  Or maybe he forgot he was supposed to make peacocks and not abominations in the name of aesthetics.  I don't know.  I don't know anything.  

You never published the book, did you?

No.  I didn't want to see her on my bookshelf every morning.  My bed faces the bookshelf.  Some might argue that arrangement releases some sort of negative energy into my home, but really, I can't see how it could get any worse.  A writer would probably do well not to pay attention to any superstitions.  Of course, perhaps the greatest superstition any writer of (dis)repute has fallen prey to would be that if they write every day, sooner or later they will be paid for it.

You don't sell any of your writings?

I show some of them to a friend.  Our meetings are every Saturday at six o' clock in the evening, under a tree where there are no crows, so we are not disturbed.  We sit in silence and read each other's writings.  Sometimes the silence becomes deafening, though.  It rings in my ears, at which point I am forced to bid my dear friend adieu, and retreat to my not-so-safe haven, a cocoon of bricks and wood and cement and artificial light and sunlight and rain and quite a bit of sadness.  I write to give my melancholiness a form, a figure.  Traumatizing words inside your head are a little better than traumatizing half-formed pictures inside your head.  

What is your name?

I'd rather not say.  Let us, for the time being, call me The Lamenter, as lamentation is what I have the most time for, being alone and quite set in my ways - unless, of course, someone else came along - which I would not advise in my present state, frankly.  Speaking of lamentation, I regret greatly that one time my phone was ringing and I didn't take the call.  But to be fair, my phone rings very loudly - if not in real life, then at least inside my head - and it scares me.  That was the last time she would have spoken to me.  Instead, the last time I spoke to her, I cursed her for not being able to understand me, I cursed myself for not understanding who I was.  I slammed all my doors and shut myself in my room and I wrote, and wrote, and didn't properly stop writing until three months later.  Time snatched her away from me.

Where is she now?

Up there, where all the angels go.  She was an angel.  Not a very brilliant one, mind you, but if there were a test, she would ace it.  She used to be mine.  Of course, she did very much belong to herself, too.  She used to paint the skies.  She invited me to watch, once.  I never went.  

Look up, do you see the sunset?  

It's orange, pink, and purple.  And a bit of green, there, in the corner.  The sky looks like a mattress of cotton.

Hell, you could be a writer, too, someday.  

I am one.  


Tuesday, 9 May 2017



i used to be a dreamer
a doer, thinker, wanter
sometimes if i was having a good day
maybe even desirer
however, like everyone else, there will come a day in my life when i will be forced to

between a few things
six-year-old me was fascinated by space
and the universe
and probably a little scared at the sci-fi storyteller's promise that at night the aliens would abduct me 

of course, the storyteller and i 
were usually the same person
i would choose to read scary books
and watch scary scenes 
from scary movies
i remember watching one where a bearded man killed an old, gray-haired woman with a knife
while her grandchild waited outside
i also remember running up the stairs and shutting my door and reading some book
for peace of mind
right now, peace of mind is quite elusive

perhaps this is the course of things, and i should not complain
perhaps this was what had been fated
i no longer find myself surrounded by true fiction
the fantastical lands authors speak of that were supposed to give me hope
end up wounding me instead
because i am stuck and i cannot live there
because i am stuck and i cannot live here.

where do i go?

the paths i do not take will lie as burdens upon my shoulders
the stars will laugh and will scorn me as i trudge along the lonely roads
that are not quite laid with perfection, years ago,
i chose one path
t'was one of the easier ones
one where i chose not to fight for what i did believe in - at least not as much as the others did.
one where i was - as is the common phrase - a law-abiding citizen.
but these were different laws, more fluid, and dynamic.
no permanent harm would come to me if i chose to break them
of course, as you may have guessed, i never broke them anyway
i figured the price i would have to pay for 
not breaking the mold
would be a very small one indeed.

turns out all of us want to break molds, and cast new ones in their place.
and if we become famous, by some insidious circumstance,
they will make molds shaped like us.
and they will force their children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren,
and not-so-great-grandchildren (these they will outline to the entire world)
to break and bend and crush and somehow fit themselves inside
the two-dimensional box i am sure i will turn out to be;
if the boxes of all the people in the entire world were to be placed
side by side, mine would be quite plain:
either everyone would stop by, or no-one would - 
a tragedy of life.
a few boxes will be funky, halos stuck onto them with Superglue
flowers sprayed with perfume ("what flowers are these?" "why do you care, they all smell the same anyway,") thumb-tacked into the cardboard
gift-wrapped with sticky wallpapers of nebulae and solar coronae that aren't really as colourful as they seem but the kids don't know that, do they?  oozing fakeness; the kids don't know that, either.
neither do the grown-ups.  maybe they wished for boxes just like these when they were younger.

maybe they never thought about creating their own boxes.  

"when i was small, i was a plain box.  nobody liked me.  i can't seem to find any plain boxes here;
they're all special.  so, you must be special too."

"but why?"

"if you're not special, they won't look at your box, dear."

"so what?"

'How To Make Your Box Special' would be the most watched show on television
school activities would be centred on how to build a great (great!) box.
"first cut the cardboard.  make sure you switch the laser off later, so you don't hurt yourself."
"give us money, we'll make your box shine!  we'll sprinkle glitter all around yours...and everyone else's, but you won't know until we're done!"

- i chose one path.
it is dry, uneventful, and uninspiring.  storm-clouds do gather, but no rain falls.  
once in a while, i do get a drizzle, though.
drizzles are on the good days.
on the bad days, even the moonlight burns me.
but on the worst days, there is no moon, only darkness
all-consuming, suffocating, no stars and comets are seen.
tonight i can see the moon, though.  is this some sort of omen?

at daybreak i will set out on the new path
to see what i can salvage; is changing sides even possible, this late into 
the battle against my own self?  but it will do me no good to think about these questions;
i shall sleep.



wake up!  a new dawn has come.  the sun looks more orange, today - more forgiving, perhaps.
i trudge along - 
this road branches into two - on one there is sunlight strong enough to melt my skin
on another, it is raining, and the sun is hidden behind the white and gray clouds.  i pick the second one.  strangely refreshing, although i am still alone.
wildflowers grow here, and the grass is tall enough for me to hide in it,
not that i want to.
i am probably done hiding behind things i tell myself i cannot change.
the rain will erode my walls
the rain will reduce all our boxes to wet cardboard 
the rain will set me free.

~ vruta gupte, may 2017.

Monday, 24 April 2017

~ the distance between stars.

Let me walk to someplace quiet
Where there are no streetlights,
No lamps to obstruct my shifting gaze
My meandering meditations
I do not know much of constellations
It is only the inky blackness
Between the flaming orbs of the night
That matters;
Because yesterday I thought
That darkness is much like
The distance between us -
One star is brighter than the other,
Yesterday I thought
About how if both of us
Were standing still in a crowd
Of unsmiling, unfamiliar faces,
Maybe we would notice each other.
Maybe the starts would come closer
And closer
And burn brighter
And brighter
Then maybe there would be a blinding flash
Of brilliant white light -
A collision, of sorts.
If stars can collide, why can't we?
For the darkness is impermanent, my darling.
Our lives are not filled by it
It does not encase us, envelope, or suffocate.
Let us walk to someplace quiet
So that I can look at you.

Friday, 21 April 2017


Sometimes I feel like disappearing.

Sometimes I feel like going away from everything, probably to an abandoned treehouse in the jungles of tomorrow, where I will be at peace, away from all the sharing and over-sharing. It would be good to be disconnected for a while. Ironically enough, I am writing this on a post that will reach a lot of people, and that, sadly enough, a lot of people might be able to relate to.
You see, the side of yourself you share out here, where everyone can see you, is only a fraction of who you really are. You can't distill a whole person into just a particular number of likes they got, or something they've posted, or something they didn't post but that you thought they should. The risk of sharing too much of yourself with people is that after a while, they will come to expect it; but they won't notice if you disappear.

At least I think they wouldn't notice if I disappear.

Sure, they would wonder where I have gone, for a little while, but then they will return to their everyday lives and troubles and problems; people have too many of those anyway. Here I talk only of the part of myself that is a slightly sassier - and some might say cheekier - version of myself: the version that is the most opposite to who I really am, and not the version that stays up at night binge-watching harmonium concerts and my friend's classical music compositions on YouTube, or reading, or writing poetry. Only a few friends of mine know that side of me. Of course, this is assuming that people have only two sides, the good and the bad, the people-pleasing and the cold-hearted, the has-it-all-together and the slowly-falling-apart.

All my life I have struggled with balancing connection and disconnection. Connection eats into my life, while disconnection keeps me awake at night. Connection is necessary for relationships to grow, but too much of it will poison your friendships, and suffocate your friends. Too much disconnection, on the other hand, will suffocate you, and make you feel like you have no friends at all; a feeling I have felt enough times to never let anyone else think the way I once did, which is probably why I, oftentimes, share, and over-share, and never stop, really. (I seldom leave people alone. My friends will testify to that.) The endeavour to balance these scales is a confusing, draining, severely exhausting one. And so I have always been scared to even attempt to balance these two sides of the same (albeit virtual) coin.

I think it would be good to try, though.


A dance between minds A meeting of the senses In the foreign dark streets of the previously inhabited That have since been deserted for ...